How to Shoot Thin in the Vineyard

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Cynewulf

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I was hoping you’d do one on shoot thinning - super helpful as always! It appears that frost may be doing my shoot thinning for me this year, but this will be helpful when the figurative dust settles and I know what the remaining growth looks like over the next couple of weeks. Thanks again for doing these.
 

acorad

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I was hoping you’d do one on shoot thinning - super helpful as always! It appears that frost may be doing my shoot thinning for me this year, but this will be helpful when the figurative dust settles and I know what the remaining growth looks like over the next couple of weeks. Thanks again for doing these.
Happy to do the videos Cynewolf, thank you for letting me know they've been helpful!
 

BarrelMonkey

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Interesting and helpful, thanks. I don't grow wine grapes but I have a few table grape vines in my garden (Black Monukka) - also a 'Princess' which I just planted this season. I am using cane pruning rather than spurs and have been pruning back to 1 shoot per node; does this make sense or would you leave 2 as for spur pruning? (And, I guess, would you approach table grape pruning differently in general?)
 

acorad

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Hi BarrelMonkey, I'm not really familiar with your varietals or your local growing conditions, but I would guess that you need roughly 5 - 6 feet of shoot to ripen the grapes on that shoot? So I would try to balance the number of shoots on each vine such that the fruit gets ripe and you don't have shoots that are way too short or way too long. Kind of trial and error over a couple years to get an idea of how many shoots you should let grow on each vine.
 
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BarrelMonkey

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...but I would guess that you need roughly 5 - 6 feet of shoot to ripen the grapes on that shoot? So I would try to balance the number of shoots on each vine such that the fruit gets ripe and you don't have shoots that are way too short or way too long. Kind of trial and error over a couple years to get an idea of how many shoots you should let grow on each vine.
That's a good plan... last year one of my vines produced lots of good fruit whereas the other was disappointing. It's hard to directly compare since they're in different locations, but the poor producer did have a lot more nodes and shoots which I should probably have thinned. This will only be my second season so hoping to learn from it as you say.

Unfortunately most of my harvest last year was taken by a hungry raccoon, so that's a separate problem I have to solve!
 

treesaver

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BM, a cage trap is your friend with a marrading coon. Make sure you don't make your problem someone elses after you catch him. Trash pandas are everywhere, and once they key on your grapes, they won't quit till they eat them all.
 

acorad

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I also had raccoon problems in the past, so I strung up a couple lines of electric fence. No problems now for years!
 

Handy Andy

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After shoot thinning at what length do people cut the tips of vines??

I have some vines more vigorous than others, that might get damaged by wind.

Hi BarrelMonkey, I'm not really familiar with your varietals or your local growing conditions, but I would guess that you need roughly 5 - 6 feet of shoot to ripen the grapes on that shoot? So I would try to balance the number of shoots on each vine such that the fruit gets ripe and you don't have shoots that are way too short or way too long. Kind of trial and error over a couple years to get an idea of how many shoots you should let grow on each vine.
How many leaves and clusters would you expect to have in a 5-6 foot long shoot??
 

balatonwine

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The "rule" is rather simple.

On canes, one shoot every 10 cm on a cane. That is simple and easy to do. I posted about this 8 years ago:


On cordons, two shoots on every stub. Stubs should be every 20 cm.

All else is removed. Except..... with cordons it is a good idea to sometimes leave a third shoot (but remove its clusters) even if weak but close to the cordon to prevent long stubs over time. Thus with cordons it can be more complicated.
 
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